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Seattle March Meeting: What is Your Sustainable Path?

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Looking at your past can help you identify what commitments you want to make in the future

The Past

This meeting was a little different in that we started out with an activity. We had a lifeline from birth to today and we were to write down pivotal, influential and meaningful times/people/events that we contribute to our sustainable beliefs. Whether it’s from your parents, family, friends, teachers, books, travel, life changes, moves, career changes or more, we have all either found the passion within ourselves or been inspired by it from outside sources.

Kaytlyn started with her experiences as a child and remembering how her father taught her how to start tomato plants, and how to create a garden that the family ate their meals from. To then recycling in her teens, remaining the northwest to be around the natural beauty and attending the event 101 Things Designers Can Do to Save The Earth a few years back that really opened her eyes to what power designers have on product creation.

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Gay related to her biggest change in her life was moving out from Chicago. From literally seeing the trees from the plane to implementing her own sustainability with recycling, canning, growing their own food and teaching her children those values. Her story shows how you may not have found your sustainable side until much later. Kaytlyn agreed that there were parts of her life where there were definite gaps.

Iraz told us that she had realized a true connect to nature in her life from some of the earliest times she could remember, one vidid memory being a time where she was mesmerized watching ants and their behaviors. That they were animals to be aware of and are just important as we are.

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Deborah said she had a huge impact by a book called Raising Your Child Toxic Free that completely changed her career in marketing to a life as a naturopath. Just reading the novel drove her to seek out organic foods and create a sustainable life for her family and son.

Amy had a great connection to her past as her parents were contractors, builders and constructed their home out of repurposed materials from an old school. Gym flooring, toilets, wood panels–all reused to form their home. At the time during the 70’s and where she was living (no hippie commune here), it wasn’t cool to be wearing used clothes, use cloth napkins (and reuse them), or even make all of your food from scratch. Kaytlyn could definitely agree. As a kid you don’t know why you feel a little unusual, but look at us now! That’s what everyone is striving for.

Colleen related that when she become exposed and active in PETA, did she find many other resources that resonated with her in terms of environmental information and ethical passion.

The Present

Jacquie communicated her attempts in keeping her interior design business materials as local as possible and a current project left her dissappointed but on a mission to find a better solution or collective that could help in her efforts. Perhaps purchasing materials as a group could lower the costs. Amy could definitely relate to that point as sustainable fabrics sourced locally could cost five to ten times as a client would want to spend. This creates an image of sustainability being out of reach and impossible to incorporate into our lives and provide for our clients. More research and demand could lead to lower prices and products being more plentiful.

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Kristin talked about her current work being a bit unsatisfying due to higher management in her workplace unwilling to be open to education outreach. Instead of only fielding questions from their customers, she would rather inform and education. Iraz, Kaytlyn and Deborah all chipped in ideas of newsletters, emails, seminars or gatherings to monetizing the situation so her managers could realize the impact these outlets could influence and reduce costs.

Some resources mentioned during the meeting:

Raising Your Child Toxic Free, Herbert L Needleman
Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
Maria Rodale’s Organic Gardening

• NPR: Reducing Carbon Footprint of New Gadgets (Omar Gallaga)
CurbWaste & Conserve, Ask Evelyn for Seattle Public Utilitities (example Q&A)
Chinook Book at Eco Metro
Killawatt and Smart Strip

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Attending Sisters: Iraz, Colleen, Kristin, Ellen, Deborah, Jacquie, Gay, Amy and Kaytlyn. Thanks for coming everyone! What an enjoyable meeting. If you want to find a SOSTANE ME SISTER, contact us and we will help you find someone.

1 Comment so far

  1. Carissa March 19th, 2009 12:33 pm

    Hi,
    I’m glad to see Chinook Book brought up in your group, along with other good resources. Two things that people don’t always know: There are resources in the front of the book where you can find local contact information and green resources; we have free online coupons at our site every month, similar to the ones in the book.

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